Man and Being in Phenomenological and Existential Philosophy - Philosophy

Man and Being in Phenomenological and Existential Philosophy

Philosophical discussions have been very polemical before, but they did not deny the grounds. In the 20th century, on the contrary, every philosopher, before starting to build his own system, announces the "death of metaphysics" and denies her problems. For example, one of the founders of the Vienna Circle, Moritz Schlick, when assessing questions about the root cause of existence, the existence of God, the immortality of the soul, etc., wondered what, in fact, is implied in such problems. In his opinion, they are simply meaningless. In metaphysics, Schlick wrote, there is no real content; there are, of course, representatives of metaphysics, but they do not represent anything. The leader of the neo-positivist movement contrasted metaphysics with a system of a scientific worldview characterized by a connection with empirical facts, experimental verification, logical connectivity and consistency.

Paradoxically, the opponents of positivism - Edmund Husserl, Martin Heidegger and Max Scheler - also expressed dissatisfaction with traditional metaphysics. They sharply criticized its basic attitudes and concepts, insisted on changing not only the content, but also the very form of philosophizing. In contrast to positivism, they believed that philosophy is too similar to science and uncritically based on "natural" understanding of the subject of philosophy.

The founder of the phenomenology German philosopher Edmund Husserl (1859-1938) blamed classical philosophy for doubling " the world, puts under the phenomena of consciousness certain transcendental things to the consciousness. He proposes to bring the question of reality "beyond brackets and deal exclusively with phenomena of consciousness, which do not possess any characteristics of the real or transcendental world. "Consciousness," or, in terms of phenomenology, "intentionality, is essential to them." The transcendental study of consciousness, Husserl writes, is not the study of nature and the world in general, it can not even assume such as its condition, because in the transcendental setting, nature and the whole universe in general are enclosed in brackets. "

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Every act of consciousness corresponds to an object (real or imagined), and this direction in phenomenology is called "intentionality" (from Latin intentio - intention). Among the various acts of consciousness, Husserl first of all distinguishes sensory perception, representation, and imagination, which act as different ways of giving objects. The most important feature of the intentional approach to consciousness lies in the fact that he breaks with the tradition of understanding consciousness as a figurative representation of objects. What is connected with the rejection of the figurative theory of consciousness? The fact is that such a concept forces one to think the truth as a coincidence or correspondence of an image and an object. For this, we should, as it were, have an object in one hand, and in the other, an image and look at them from the side. But this is impossible. In addition, the figurative theory imposes on us the assumption of the actual existence of objects before any research on this subject.

In modern culture, the reality problem has acquired a truly manic character. Any researcher is always and everywhere concerned with the question of whether there are really theoretical objects. Too hasty attribution to the statements of the status of reality leads to errors. From a methodological standpoint, the solution of the question of whether objects of our representations or statements really or in any other way exist is not of great importance. In particular, the scientists themselves understand that most of the objects in question in theories have an ideal character, but this does not undermine their values. The priority of the question of reality is connected with the domination of a non-reflexive, non-philosophical attitude, which impels us to seek in every way or thought any real object. Meanwhile, what is commonly called objects, facts and events is a product not only of observation, but also of interpretation. When we perceive something as a house, animal or person, we rely on a common understanding of the world and its classification. In addition to the information that comes to our senses, we use other previously acquired knowledge (for example, we know that the house has a back wall that we do not directly see). Particularly great is the role of interpretation in history, where the descriptions of the event even by eyewitnesses contain their understanding of the world and the assessment of what is happening. Phenomenological description (description) is just trying to fix and analyze the theoretical arsenal of perception of reality. However, in order to raise the question of reality "for brackets," Husserl gave rise to a reproach in transcendental solipsism, according to which the world is my perception.

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Existentialism , or philosophy of existence , is one of the most popular trends in philosophy in the middle of the 20th century. Its name comes from the Latin word exsistentia - existence. One of the leaders of French existentialism, the philosopher, writer and playwright Jean-Paul Sartre (1905-1980) contrasted essence and existence and believing that man unlike other things, does not have a fixed essence, but finds it in the process of existence and struggle for freedom.

The German philosopher Martin Heidegger (1889-1976) is also attributed to the ancestors of existentialism, although he did not accept existence as a name for his philosophy. Being a disciple of Husserl, he was extremely concerned about the loss, oblivion of being, which occurred in phenomenology, and saw the way to it not in the metaphysics of consciousness, but in existentiality. In philosophy, being is usually identified with some existing - one, good, existing being, substance, etc. Heidegger considered the idea of ​​being objectively objective as a fatal mistake that predetermined the technical development of the world. Meanwhile, being is not a object for us, for we are inside it and can not look at it as if outside. Therefore, Heidegger defines it as a horizon within which there is a being.

Another important innovation of Heidegger's fundamental ontology is the difference between the categorical and existential definitions of being.

Categorical analysis is based on the representation and description of what exists , dividing it by genera and species.

The existential definition in principle differs from the definition, for it does not occur in thought, when one concept is defined on the basis of another, but in the interaction of the forces and destiny of man and the world.

Being is defined as Dasein ( here-being) . To the question: "What is being?", A person responds with his own existence, which is primarily the performance or detection and thereby the understanding of it.

Heidegger protested against the humanistic, anthropological, hermeneutic and even existential interpretation of philosophizing. He saw his task not in "humanizing" being and knowledge, but in teaching people to listen to the quiet voice of being. In this case, the latter turns out to be absent, because it does not lend itself to a positive definition and acts as a nothing, for example, in the form of fear of death or, later, silence and silence. This is not what we should say, but being must say through the pass.

The language of being speaking in the mouth of a philosopher-poet is the opposite of thoughts which in the classical theory of knowledge is the core of the meaning of the word. Thought arbitrarily interprets being, instead of listening to it and speaking the way it compels. The world is perceived by modern thought as a picture, as the territory of conquest and conquest of nature, and the person himself is reduced to the "point of view", from the top of which the subject is considered. Man has long been an artificial being, cultivated by a technological civilization. Intense learning consciousness led to the opposition of theory and life.

The concept of life in modern philosophy flowed in different streams, among them the most powerful was neo-Kantianism, whose representatives from the analysis of science turned to other forms of culture, in particular, applied their transcendental method to the process of life. It was caught not so much in its diversity, randomness, uncertainty, openness to other opportunities, etc., as in ordering by cultural symbols or values.

In addition to the neo-Kantian view of life, there is also the phenomenological, grasping it as an experience: it acts as a kind of boundary where action and consciousness intersect. So solve two problems at once. Firstly, life ceases to be some sort of alien being to the bodily existence and becomes a symbolic spiritual process. Secondly, consciousness as something secondary and ephemeral, superimposed over material and social processes and doubling them, becomes so important and important that it becomes something self-existent.

The reduction of life to reflexion (cogitationes) in transcendental philosophy evoked the protest of Scheler and Heidegger, who were dissatisfied with the boundaries of the philosophy of consciousness and sought to introduce existential experience into the sphere of philosophy.

Max Scheler (1874-1928) referred to the emotional acts that he, while borrowing Husserl's antipsychological mood, also sought to separate from empirical experiences and translate them into the transcendental plane.

Martin Heidegger declares that the problem of the meaning of life is a fundamental theme of all Western philosophy. His question is, what is this reality - life?

The fundamental definition of life is the relationship "I" and being, which is that "the self and the world at every moment - here". Although life does not know about the basic structure "to be here", however, the relationship of consciousness and the world is constant and continuous. It is experienced directly by life as an experience of life itself: as far as a person has, so it is determined by the world. Life proceeds as a relationship "I"; with the world and with others & quot ;.

A person in everyday life does not belong to himself and does not build himself on the basis of principles critically interpreted by him in the experience of personal doubt. The existence in the world of others is characterized by a rejection of his I & quot ;: We are - for the most part not ourselves, but others - we are living with others ". A person loses himself in the organization of his environment, in adapting to the "other" in the process of living together. Heidegger emphasizes that all this is not just acts of consciousness, but primarily certain "ways of being" in the world. The specificity of the acts of being consists in caring for the organization of affairs and is not reduced to concepts, for concepts provide universality and necessity, but, realized in the law, they require often violent execution. In the light of the law, a separate "I" turns out to be enslaved whole , acting as a substitute for "others" element of the set. However, life consists of events that, on the one hand, happen to everyone, and on the other - are performed by each in different ways. In the same situation, some show courage, while others are cowards. This reveals the inapplicability of law in human life. Nevertheless, it has its own order. How is it achieved? Heidegger writes: "Existence here is every time your own existence, mine, and such a character is inseparable from it." On the contrary, the mass, imposed by law, existence is averaged, eliminating a separate unique life. The law may be suitable for comprehending things, but it is not applicable to people who should not be reduced to the position of objects. Science defines man as a thinking animal; as a specific thing. However, for a person there is a strong desire to understand the meaning of being.

How effective is the existential connection with the world in comparison with the cognitive, distanced relation to it? Yes, the life of early Heidegger, like the practice of the young Marx, cuts off the Gordian knot of the difficulties of the classical philosophy of consciousness. The philosopher, having got rid of the syndrome of reflection, ceases to be suspicious and distrustful. He finds firm ground, touches experience of experience with being itself. But the uncritical attitude towards life conceals a threat for the "I", which can dissolve in the world, lose oneself. Therefore, in itself, the transition from cognition to existence does not alleviate philosophical problems.

Late Heidegger avoided the concepts of "man", "humanism", "morality", he was constantly forced to explain that his philosophy is not anthropology and not existentialism. Man is not something given and does not have his own nature. He always serves something even when he thinks he dominates nature through technology or people through power or wealth. The question for Heidegger was only in what or to whom the person serves: he revealed the error of serving the pure mind, the society and everyday life, the technique and urged the person to listen to being. In his last lectures on the place of a philosopher and scientist, he puts a thinker-poet who builds a house of being.

Another major representative of existential philosophy is Karl Jaspers (1883-1969), a contemporary of Heidegger. Their personal relationships were quite complex, and not only in connection with political orientations, but also because of the increasingly distinct differences in the initial meaningful intentions and categorical structures. Comparison of the "Philosophical Autobiography Jaspers (1977) with a few interviews of Heidegger, in which he gives a mean account of his philosophical origins and political influences, makes it possible to clarify the difference in orientations of the two greatest philosophers of the twentieth century. Jaspers recalled the first meetings with Heidegger as a mutual experience of penetrating the mysterious depth of philosophical problems, and this was not a youthful impression, since Jaspers was seven years older than Heidegger. He had great respect for the laconic judgments of his young friend, whom he sought to meet. Jaspers poses a very interesting theologically, the thesis that open discussions between major philosophers in general give little, because philosophical systems are irrefutable, and critics, as a rule, are at war with their own misconceptions. Great depth, a truly philosophical force - that's what must be measured when comparing philosophers. It is impossible to demand from the enemy that he jumped his own shadow, consider him capable of overpowering understanding, which paralyzes his inherent productivity.

In his book, The Spiritual Situation of Time (1932) Jaspers notes the massive nature of existence and its technical and bureaucratic support, the orientation toward the transformation of nature and the satisfaction of human desires. Character traits are efficiency and prudence, self-discipline and foresight. People value health, peace, life, pleasure, communication, order, and legality. But paradoxically, all these aspirations turn into the opposite: the calculation of individual actions is accompanied by unpredictable results of aggregate actions, internal restraint and discipline are accompanied by irrational excesses of the protesting crowd, the breadth of contacts leads to the fact that they become formal and devoid of depth. Similarly, the intensification of artificial pleasures is accompanied by fear of life and the loss of natural joys.

All this strongly resembles Heidegger's sketches of everyday life in his work "Being and Time" (1927), where the existence in the "Das Man" mode is described, when everything becomes interchangeable and handy. Similarly, the conclusions of the philosophers: the technical development of the world and the massive nature of existence destroy existence, people forget it and it turns away from them, its quiet voice can not be heard in the cries of the crowd and the deafening noise of cars. Hence the generality of the philosophical project: a turn to being. This thesis sounds quite Marxist, which gives grounds for comparison. However, it must be remembered that Marx's being comes down to reality and is revealed through economics, technology and revolution, while Jaspers and Heidegger saw in these human practices the destruction of existence. Returning to being meant for them a reference to the land, home, family, caring for life and death, for history and creation.

Both thinkers saw the danger of a new "mechanization" and "osmosis", transforming the planet into a factory, and metaphysical roots saw in the change of attitude to being and time. At the same time Heidegger's ideal gravitated toward Antiquity and, as a whole, to archaic, landscape and soil, Jaspers believed that the creation of the XIX century was exemplary.

Jaspers is in solidarity with Hegel, who defined philosophy as time grasped by thought, as the preservation of the past and the discovery of being. He is not confused by the identification of being and consciousness, for he considers this to be the product of later interpretations, uncharacteristic of Hegel's philosophizing. Moreover, Jaspers gravitates to the synthesis of Hegel with Nietzsche and Kierkegaard, opposing the technical and metaphysical assimilation of being "trembling before Nothing" and the awareness of the "death of God". Because the consciousness of time, modernity dissolve and devastate the consciousness of being, the human world is replaced by mass order. Time at Jaspers is a symbol of haste and haste, of immediate concern and directly useful. Time is the "evil of the day", a daily routine where everything is calculated and planned in terms of efficiency, effectiveness and rationality, where the economy of exchange dominates, where there is no place for sacrifice and generosity, where a person is satisfied with goods, information and certificates and forgets about creation and communication.

Bureaucracy and technology, advertising and propaganda, advice and counseling, planning and comfort - all this seeming heterogeneous and multidirectional is a single and interconnected strategy of modernity, aimed at mastering the human individuality. However, massed an individual attached to the system, machines, apparatus, becomes irresponsible. Even those who are called to rule the people, in fact, are conformed to the possibilities of the economic system and the wishes of the crowd, and not to those lofty goals and ideals for which the person lives.

What is being ? - this is an ongoing question. As determined it is knowable in categorical form, but not exhausted by it. As empirical reality, it appears as external and reveals its limits. "I can only break through to my being through my own existence," Jaspers wrote. Existence - is freedom, but it also does not exhaust the being. Any attempts at his attainment reveal a finite or reduced being to a simple bundle is ", functioning in the language. Even less effective are attempts to embrace inner being. Jaspers sees in this situation the incomprehensibility of being the only way out: a breakthrough to being through freedom. Only existence as a form of existence of freedom seeks existence as if it is lost, and comes into contact with it in these searches.

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